Bellarmine Preparatory School is a Catholic college preparatory school in the Jesuit tradition of education. Under the inspired leadership of the Jesuits, the school was founded in 1928 in a lone building on what was then a remote hilltop overlooking the young city of Tacoma – a site it still occupies today. Bellarmine is accredited by the Western Catholic Educational Association. We are also in good standing with the National Catholic Educational Association and have a Certificate of Private School Approval from the Washington State Board of Education.
An all-boys school for the first 45 years of its existence, in 1974 Bellarmine became the first such Jesuit school in the nation to go co-educational. In that year, St. Leo's and Aquinas Academy girls' schools merged with Bellarmine to create a consolidated Catholic high school for the Tacoma-Pierce County area. Bellarmine today remains the only Catholic high school in the greater Tacoma area, and continues to carry on the legacies and honor the alumni of St. Leo’s and Aquinas Academy in addition to its own.
Today, Bellarmine enrolls approximately 900 students from 4 counties, some traveling from over 30 miles away to attend. The campus occupies 42 acres in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, and has grown over the years from one building to many, including fully wired and technologically integrated classrooms, a state-of-the-art library and computer facility and top line athletic and fitness facilities.
While solid, challenging college preparatory courses in traditional academic disciplines form the foundation of Bellarmine's academic program, each student’s educational experience is not limited to the basics. A broad range of elective offerings are available in many areas including English, science, business, health/fitness, social studies, and the arts. Community service programs and religious education are also an integral part of the school curriculum. In addition, students are encouraged to participate in the many co-curricular activities offered including athletics, the performing arts, spiritual retreat programs, student government, robotics and many more.
Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to ensure that our students benefit from the great and historic strengths of Jesuit education – an approach to learning emphasizing inquiry, experience, action and reflection. Bellarmine’s aim is to graduate students who are open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice. We recognize that each young man and woman comes to us full of unique potential. Through their experience at Bellarmine, we seek to help them develop and direct that potential with informed purpose, to go forth into the world as men and women “for and with others.”